First Look at the Cowboys


Photo by: Matt Pearce/Icon SMI

Dallas is coming to town to face the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.  Carolina is desperate for a victory after losing three straight.  They have some stiff competition in those games, facing New York, Atlanta, and Seattle who all have winning records.  Dallas does not, with a 2-3 record after a tough loss to Baltimore on Sunday.  That loss came at an even greater expense when they loss both Demarco Murray and Morris Claiborne.  Murray has already been ruled for Sundays game, but Morris Claiborne is expected to play.

Dallas has loss three of their last four games, with their one win coming against the Bucs.  They have a lot of talent, but also have made a ton of mistakes.  They have the 6th ranked pass offense based on yardage, but they have been playing behind a lot.  Tony Romo has thrown a lot this year, but that has led to a lot of turnovers.  Nine interceptions to just seven touchdowns tell the big story of Romo’s year and the main reason Dallas has a losing record.  He can break out for a big game at ant time though, so the Panthers are going to need to watch out.  Dez Bryant had arguably his best game of the season last week which is bad news for the Panthers.  Throw in Miles Austin and Jason Witten and this passing attack could be making a turn for the better.  Murray will be out for this game, but Felix Jones looked solid in place.  The passing attack will be the key of the offense, but look out for a Jones has explosive speed.

The defense has been great against the pass. In fact, they rank number one in passing D.  That is in large part to Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne who both were acquired this offseason.  Former pro bowler, Mike Jenkins, has been moved to nickel duty.  That shows the extreme depth and talent of this secondary.  Newton could be in for a long day.  They will need to work the run more often to get the passing attack open, but that won’t be easy either.  Jay Ratliff came back last week for the first time all season.  He should be a little healthier for this one, and free up some space for Sean Lee, an extremely underrated ILB.  Don’t forget about Demarcus Ware.

Dallas is a tough team, but as their record indicates they are beatable.  The key is winning the turnover margin.  Romo has turned the ball over often, so Carolina will need to feast on his mistakes.  When they are running on all cylinders they are tough to stop, so disrupting their flow will be necessary.  Carolina is pretty desperate for a win, but this one won’t come easy.

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